HOW DO I CREATE A REALISTIC LOAD OF TIMBER PIT PROPS?
Does anybody produce a realistic set of pit prop wagon loads for ‘OO’ gauge wagons? Or do you have any tips for making my own – preferably something that won’t take too long! Bob Bridger, by e-mail
George says: Although not branded as a pit prop load, Ten Commandments offers a useful cast plaster wagon load (ref. W103) that simply requires painting and weathering before dropping into a standard four-wheel planked open wagon. The logs are loaded length-wise, in two piles, with the timber measuring a scale 8ft or so, which is probably on the large side for mine props. However, in many cases pit props were stacked vertically into railway wagons and an economical option is to create your own loads from wooden barbecue skewers. Available in large packs from supermarkets for a bargain price, the wood can be trimmed to length with a set of garden pruners. I created a simple pit prop load for a ‘OO9’ wagon a few years back, fixing the wood onto a bed of PVA glue. Alas, it was only after fixing the props in place that I realised that I should have treated them to a coat of dark wood dye beforehand! Next time,
I’ll brush each skewer with dye before cutting it into short lengths, touching in the exposed ends later. Web: www.tencommandmentsmodels.co.uk
Above: Wooden barbecue skewers offer an extremely cheap and easy way to create authentic wagon loads, especially for pit props. Ideally, they should be treated with a dark wood dye before they’re fixed into the wagon.